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Jackson (2013 Congress)

Deirdre Jackson
(The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge)
“Models of Collaboration:
A Case Study of Cambridge, Fitzwilliam Museum, MS 62”

Abstract of paper given at the 48th International Congress on Medieval Studies (Kalamazoo, May 9-12, 2013)
Session on “The Making of Medieval Manuscripts:  Analyzing the Materials and Methods of Scribes, Compilers, and Artists”
Organized by Sarah J. Biggs (The British Library / The Courtauld Institute of Art)
Session Sponsored by the Research Group on Manuscript Evidence
2013 Congress

[First published on our first website on 30 May 2013, with update}

Cambridge, Fitzwilliam Museum, MS 62 is a fifteenth-century Book of Hours with over 500 separate scenes, long attributed by scholars to the Rohan workshop and associated with Yolande of Aragon (1384-1442).  Most of the miniatures in the volume were, in fact, painted by the Giac Master, one of the most prolific French illuminators of the period, who worked closely with the Rohan artists to complete the pictorial programme.  The work of this prolific Master has been identified in some forty manuscripts, with a specialization in Books of Hours, including the Hours of Jeanne du Peschin, dame de Giac (Toronto, Royal Ontario Museum, MS 997.158.14).

Research into the precise nature of the Giac Master’s collaboration with the Rohan workshop is in its infancy.  Only in the last five years has the identity of this artist been distinguished from other members of the Rohan workshop, rather than subsumed in the group.  Combining art-historical approaches with new information derived from infrared images and pigment analysis, this paper offers a re-evaluation of select miniatures in this celebrated manuscript, notably a portrait of the original female patron (fol. 20r), which was repainted at the behest of a later owner, Isabella Stuart.

Biographical Note

Dr. Deirdre Jackson, who completed her PhD at the Courtauld Institute of Art, has worked in the field of manuscript studies at the University of Oxford and the British Library, London, where she catalogued over 600 manuscripts dating from the ninth to the sixteenth centuries.  She also helped to design and implement the exhibition Royal Manuscripts:  The Genius of Illumination (British Library, 2010-2011) and was one of the main contributors to its published catalogue.  Her interests encompass both Western and non-Western material and her research has focused particularly on medieval Iberia, with its confluence of Christian, Jewish, and Islamic cultures.  She is the author of Marvellous to Behold:  Miracles in Medieval Manuscripts (British Library, 2007) and Lion (Reaktion, 2010).  She has taught at the University of Bristol and in the Courtauld Summer School and is currently employed as a Research Associate in the Department of Manuscripts at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, as part of the team working on an innovative new project on the pigment analysis of illuminated manuscripts.

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